𝐓𝐡𝐞 𝐨𝐥𝐝 𝐛𝐞𝐥𝐥 𝐭𝐨𝐰𝐞𝐫, 𝐚 𝐭𝐢𝐦𝐞𝐥𝐞𝐬𝐬 𝐬𝐲𝐦𝐛𝐨𝐥 𝐨𝐟 𝐨𝐮𝐫 𝐃𝐮𝐛𝐫𝐨𝐯𝐧𝐢𝐤 𝐡𝐢𝐬𝐭𝐨𝐫𝐲.
Did you know that the original old bell tower with a clock was built in 1444? Standing proudly at 31 meters high, it has witnessed centuries of stories and moments. Crafted by the skilled hands of 𝐋𝐮𝐤𝐚 𝐌𝐢𝐡𝐨𝐜̌𝐢𝐧, the metal plate, moon phase hands, and wooden figures that ticked the hours were a true work of art.
𝐌𝐀𝐑𝐎 𝐚𝐧𝐝 𝐁𝐀𝐑𝐎
One of the most remarkable features of the bell tower was its magnificent bell, created by master 𝐈𝐯𝐚𝐧 𝐑𝐚𝐛𝐥𝐣𝐚𝐧𝐢𝐧 𝐢𝐧 𝟏𝟓𝟎𝟔. This bell, with its impressive height and diameter of 130 cm, echoed through the city, marking important occasions. The wooden figures were later replaced by stunning copper-green ones, known as 𝐌𝐀𝐑𝐎 𝐚𝐧𝐝 𝐁𝐀𝐑𝐎, which can still be admired at the Rectors Palace today.
However, in 1667, a catastrophic earthquake struck, damaging the bell tower and posing a threat of collapse. Thanks to a generous donation from 𝐏𝐚𝐬𝐤𝐨 𝐁𝐚𝐧𝐮𝐫𝐢𝐜𝐚, a new city bell tower was built in 1929, staying true to the original design.
As you gaze upon the bell tower, you’ll notice the forged clock plate from 1444, proudly displaying the passage of time. Just below it, an indicator of the moon’s changes, a masterpiece by Luka, the son of Admiral Mihoč Žurković from Koločep. The clock hands, cast in bronze in 1478, have faithfully kept time for centuries.
Throughout the years, the clock has seen restorations and upgrades. In 1780, a new clock was commissioned from Pasko Baletin, with advice sought from Ruđer Bošković. The company Braća Solari from Padua later replaced it with a more modern clock. During the renovation in 1929, another modern clock was acquired, ensuring that time would continue to be faithfully kept.
The bell tower has also witnessed the creation of beautiful bells. The first one was cast by Mihajlo from Florence, but the present bell, weighing two tons, was crafted by Ivan the Baptist of Rabljan in 1506. This bell proudly represents the third generation of bells that have graced the bell tower with their melodious chimes.
Though the bell tower has faced challenges, including damages during the Homeland War, it remains a symbol of resilience. After the earthquake in 1979, the area beneath the bell tower was rebuilt and transformed into the Luža Center, a vibrant space that houses a cinema, exhibition and sales area, and a theater.
Let us cherish the sentimental value that the old bell tower holds. It stands as a testament to the craftsmanship of the past, reminding us of the passage of time and the enduring spirit of our beautiful city.